City and Colour hypnotizes with intimate Pappy & Harriets show

Friday evening was extra special down in the middle of the desert. Pappy & Harriets — the charming bar in Pioneertown — served up some sweet tunes on the patio stage. City and Colour is the project of Canadian songwriter, Dallas Green.

Emerging from the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire in 2005, Green began recording as a solo artist and proved he had the chops to make it. Today, City and Colour have gotten five studio albums down and show no sign of slowing. Green has been touring with a consistent ensemble of friends. On drums he has Doug MacGregor; on guitar, Dante Schwebel; on bass, Jack Lawrence; and on pedal steel, Matt Kelly.

City and Colour is the band comprised of all these musicians and brings Green’s storytelling to life in an exciting way.

With a pristine set list for the first night out on tour, fans got quite the goodies. In live concert settings, Dallas is known for some unique arrangements and this show was no different. Beginning with a fine arrangement of “Sensible Heart” off the project’s debut record Sometimes, the audience were wide-eyed as Green’s sharp vocals ripped through the surface. This being my 12th City and Colour show, give or take, I am still instantly swooned by the initial hit of his voice. There is something just so unique in the tone and I encourage you all to dive in if you haven’t already.

Off and running, the guys soared through their discography. From the very mellow and carefully curated 2013 release, The Hurry and the Harm, they played “Of Space and Time” and “Two Coins”.

The isolated desert bar lit up for favorites like “The Girl”, “Waiting”, and the single off their latest release If I Should Go Before You, “Lover Come Back”.

After being cheered back on stage, Dallas did his unique arrangement of the popular tune “Comin’ Home”, which he blends right in the chorus of previous band Alexisonfire’s “This Could Be Anywhere in the World”. I’m sure it’s super special for him to see the immediate acceptance amongst the desert bar crowd. Talk about coming full circle as a musician.

Anyway: see Dallas Green perform in the middle of the desert? Check.

Words and photos by Danielle Gornbein